Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Little earth

11.01.2005


Arts/science video installation to open in London (January) and Scotland (February).

Two 19th century scientists, each involved with a mountain top observatory, and who each in their own way contributed to the development of ‘big science’ research in the 20th-21st centuries, are to be celebrated by an arts initiative to which University of Leicester space scientists have made an important contribution.

The “Little Earth” project relates to the points of contact between Kristian Birkeland, who studied the northern lights from his Norwegian observatory on Haldde mountain at the end of the 19th century, and CTR Wilson, whose work from the top of Ben Nevis in Scotland led to the invention of the cloud chamber.



After his mountain-top experiences, Birkeland built a ‘plasma universe’ in his laboratory incorporating a ‘terrella’ (or ‘little Earth’), which simulated the aurora and demonstrated its link with solar flare activity. Wilson’s cloud chamber, which enhanced the study of sub-atomic particles, was acclaimed by Nobel Laureate Lord Rutherford as “the most original and wonderful instrument in scientific history.”
The work of these scientists helped to establish the study of a wide range of phenomena, such as solar flares and cosmic rays, which can affect the Earth’s atmosphere and damage communications satellites in space, as well as probing the sub-atomic world of radioactive nuclei and elementary particles.

Professor Stan Cowley, head of the Radio & Space Plasma Physics Group, explained: “The work of these two scientists, starting in the 19th century, led to two branches of ‘big science’ in the 20th and 21st centuries, namely space science and solar system exploration, and particle physics and the fundamental structure of matter, respectively.”

The Radio & Space Plasma Physics Group in the University of Leicester Department of Physics & Astronomy forms the science partner in this arts/science project, which is led by Ms Jo Joelson of London Fieldworks, supported by Fellowship Funding from the Arts Council England and the Arts and Humanities Research Board, amongst others.

Professor Cowley said “One of the objectives of the project from our viewpoint has been to increase awareness of the development of our subject from its beginnings over a hundred years ago, and the related development of methodologies and technologies. It is also exciting to be involved in a multi-faceted project which has a very different flavour and emphasis from our usual scientific research.”

There are a number of outcomes from the “Little Earth” project, one of which has already taken place - a twinning ceremony between Ben Nevis and Haldde in October 2004 at the West Highland Museum in Fort William.

The most important outcome is the “Little Earth” video installation created by London Fieldworks, which will be exhibited at the Wapping Project in London from 14 January to 12 February 2005, before moving on to the Fort William Mountain Film Festival (19 February to 3 March 2005).

The installation consists of a synchronised video presentation projected onto a suspended cube-like structure, with a surround sound score and narration. Footage has been shot on Haldde and Ben Nevis, with computer animations provided by the Leicester Radio & Space Plasma Physics Group.

A book of essays related to the project is also about to be published (13 January 2005) entitled “London Fieldworks: Little Earth” (London Fieldworks Publ., ISBN 0-9549497-0-6). This contains a contribution from Professor Cowley on the life, times, and legacy of Kristian Birkeland. Gustav Metzger, well-known as an originator of Auto-Destructive Art in the 1960s, has written an introduction, and there are other contributions on Wilson and the arts-science interface.

The University of Leicester Radio & Space Plasma Physics Group became involved in “Little Earth” through previous projects concerned with the life and times of Kristian Birkeland, one of the founding figures of space plasma physics.

London Fieldworks was established in April 2000 by artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson as an umbrella organisation for their interdisciplinary collaborations. Further information is available on the website: www.londonfieldworks.com, tel +44 (0) 208 985 6340, email info@londonfieldworks.com

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leicester.ac.uk
http://www.londonfieldworks.com
http://ebulletin.le.ac.uk/news/press-releases/2000-2009/2005/01/nparticle-mzm-b32-x5c

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute

nachricht Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>